Is No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder a dupe for Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder?

Review of No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder and Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Translucent
Left: No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder; Right: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Translucent
Translucent powders are hard to review. If they work well, they look like nothing at all. I got a mini jar of Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder as a Christmas gift last year, and I liked it enough that I considered spending the $38 to get the full size. But that's a lot of money, so I needed to think carefully about why I liked it.

No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder and Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Translucent
Top/Left: No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder; Bottom/Right: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Translucent
It's truly invisible on my skin, no matter how much I apply. I use it to set my concealer and I've used it on bare skin and over foundation. It never looks powdery and it doesn't cause what's under it to get dry and weird. Now YMMV on this aspect, because I've read reviews in which people have said that this powder looks cakey and obvious on their skin no matter what they do with it. I don't know for sure what the cause is, but I'm guessing it has to do with the color. It's very pale and on the yellow side of neutral. Translucent, sure, but if you have darker or cooler skin, it might not be translucent enough. In fact, I'm pretty certain that's the case, because Laura Mercier recently added a second shade called Translucent Medium Deep--the original is just called "Translucent." (Of course, the mini jar only comes in the lighter shade. Sigh.) Since I'm pale and neutral-toned, the lighter shade works well for me.

It also creates a natural, flattering finish on my skin. It mattifies but not so much that it looks dry and powdery. It has a very subtle blurring or softening effect without any shimmer at all. And while it doesn't exactly make my makeup wear all day under sweaty conditions, it works well enough to set everything.

It's great and I like it a lot, but it's not exactly magic or anything. So when I read somewhere that No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder was a $13 "dupe" for the LM powder, I decided to give it a shot. I'm admittedly not terribly picky about powder, so I figured that even if it wasn't perfect, it would be adequate for the time being.

(You might note that the LM powder contains 1 full oz., while the No7 has only 0.7 oz., but that still makes the No7 significantly cheaper either way you look at it.)

The main difference between the two powders is the color. While they are both light and translucent, the No7 powder is quite a bit pinker.

No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder and Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Translucent
Left: No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder; Right: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Translucent
As I said, my skin tone is just on the warm side of neutral, but while I guess the LM powder is technically a slightly better match, they both work equally well for me in practice. Here are heavy finger swatches for another comparison:

No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder and Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Translucent
Top: No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder; Bottom: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Translucent
No shimmer, as you can see.

I also blended out the swatches, but the photo isn't very helpful. I guess you can see why I didn't bother to show you a photo of the powder on my face. They both turn invisible on my skin.

No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder and Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Translucent
Top: No7 Perfect Light Loose Powder; Bottom: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Translucent
But maybe you can see a little of the softening effect I described? Maybe not.

Other than the color, I haven't noticed any real difference in performance between these two products, so I'm quite satisfied with my budget option.

I will say that the packaging for the No7 is a little overly bulky and also slightly messier than the LM powder. Powder tends to settle on that sort of ledge around the edge of the jar and then scatter from there (you can see what I mean in the second photo above). Neither of these powders is so light that it flies all over the room and up my nose, fortunately (looking at you, MUFE HD powder). Both jars have annoyingly domed lids so that you can't stack anything on top of them--the No7 is almost but not quite flat, just to rub it in. And they both came with very nice powder puffs inside, which, in both cases, I promptly lost, because I use a brush--so no photos, sorry.

My suggestion is that if you are similar to me in coloring, just go with the cheaper No7 option. It's available for the same price at Ulta and Target. If you are pale but very warm, and you're concerned that the No7 might not be a good match, the Laura Mercier powder might be a better bet--but honestly I would still probably gamble that the No7 would be translucent enough to work for you. If you have darker skin, it's probably going to be worth your while to purchase the darker Laura Mercier shade. And let's hope that No7 and other brands get their shit together and realize that even if something is translucent, a light shade is not going to work for everyone. Is it really so hard to produce two fucking shades?

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